I may be seriously over-thinking this but I'm curious about меняться
It's obvious, at this point in the course, that Russian words and phrases don't directly translate to English and vice-versa. So I understand the translation but I'm curious about the word.
Sorry, much of what's making me want to keep learning Russian is the word formations/combinations. Many make complete sense! And others seemingly don't, but they actually DO make sense if I shift my perspective a bit. Sometimes it's a bit like a puzzle, and I like puzzles. And it's that shift that helps me understand other things.
The ся makes it reflexive back on the person (right? Maybe?) but wouldn't меняться be "myself" not "himself"? Does the focus change, somehow, mid-sentence?
Again, I could be over-thinking... Or (more likely) totally missing something.
I believe -ся originated as the shortened version of "ceбя", which means "oneself", "itself", but, more specifically, always refers back to the subject of a sentence. If you are talking about something in first person, "ceбя" would mean "myself". If you are talking about someone else, the same word would mean "him/herself" etc.
Oh the history of -ся is interesting for reflexive verbs! I hadn't thought of it that way, that's really useful.
But I'm still not sure how that would relate to the actual word "меняться". And, again, maybe it doesn't and I'm over-analyzing. Based on your explanation and with меняться I would now want to translate the word as "Me Myself" - and thus the sentence as "Vanya doesn't want my/himself" which would mean he might, actually, want to change.
There may be no correlation, it may be the equivalent of a false cognate. Or I may (very likely) be misunderstanding negation in Russian. Or I'm an idiot. Even still, the general information is really (and I truly mean that) interesting, I'm still really confused by how меняться, based on the construction and the roots (which I may have gotten wrong) means change.
There may be no actual answer and is one of those regular irregularities.
But thank you.
I think what confuses you is the beginning that word (Меня-Me) which makes it seem like the word is derived from it. It's a pure coincidence, however: the word is a combination of the verb "менять" - "to change" and the reflexive ending "-ся". The combination primarily means to "change oneself" (as one would expect), although mosfet07 is correct about its other meaning - to exchange something with someone. The latter translation, while certainly acceptable, strikes me a bit childish though - that's what kids would say while trading toys etc. with one another.
By the way, this sentence has two meanings:
- Vanya doesn't want to exchange
- Vanya doesn't want to change his character (He is a bad boy and he doesn't want to become a good boy)
Can this also mean "Vanya doesn't want to get changed" or do I have to use the verb for dressing/undressing for this - though there is a difference between dressing and undressing and changing one's clothes
If by that you mean "to change clothes" (as opposed to "change diapers"), then the verb would be "переодеться" (perfective) or "переодеваться" (imperfective).
I thought Vanya was the equivalent of Ivan? So I answered Ivan doesn't want to change.
Same as Bob vs. Rob vs. Robert. Not every Robert likes being called Bob and vice versa. Why would you feel compelled to modify the name?
It should be accepted. I reported it. In Russian, people don't formally introduce themselves as Ваня, unlike in English, when one might say, "Hello, my name is Mike." Ваня is casual nickname for family and friends. In fact, is considered crass to call somebody named Ivan, Ваня, with whom you're not familiar.
Yep, one of the things I like the most about Russian is that is a very respect centered language!
Then as the sentence actually uses Ваня, then it most likely means that we're talking about a child. Then changing Ваня to Иван doesn't sound right at all.
Вадик, I actually find it quite insulting when I ask someone their name, and they proceed to simplify it for me. I don't need foreign names translated for me! I can cope with Evgueny - I don't need to change it to Eugene. My husband is Andrei, and once a friend of his was telling ne something about what 'Andrew' used to do. "Who is Andrew?" I asked, bewildered. He pointed to Andrei. The same friend also talked about 'Eugene' insteas of Evgueny. Honestly, most English speakers can cope with foreign names without them needing to be translated.
You're insulted because you have it all wrong. "Ваня" is the diminutive nickname for "Иван." I'm not translating or anglicizing anything. "Ваня" is not written on his birth certificate or identification documents; "Иван" is his real name. It is worth stressing that in Russian-speaking countries people are almost never given the diminutive names officially (and even then they are only names that have their Western counterparts, like "Max" or "Alex"). So, even if two friends call themselves Федя/"Fedya" and Ваня/"Vanya", they will be invariably called Фёдор/"Fyodor" and Иван/"Ivan" by anyone else.
Your analogy of "Evgeniy - Eugene and Andrei - Andrew" doesn't fit because you are anglicizing Russian names. I am not. The correct analogy would be
Женя/Zhenya - Евгений/Evgeniy
Андрюша/Andryusha - Андрей/Andrei
Ваня/Vanya - Иван/Ivan
Вадик/Vadik - Вадим/Vadim
These are diminutive versions of names, followed by the real names. English-speakers are unfamiliar with and can't pronounce "Ваня" or "Вадик" so the full names Ivan and Vadim are used. And even Russians wouldn't call them Ваня or Вадик unless they were family or close friends with them!
So don't be INSULTED hahaha And don't call me Вадик. We're not that close. I'm Vadim to you.